Update: An early version of this story had the last name of Sašo misspelled. This has since been corrected. hangletonweblogs apologizes for this error. – Mike
blockr.io is a bitcoin and altcoin blockchain explorer that caught the eye of Coinbase earlier in the year.
So much in fact that Coinbase has acquired the company and brought the two primary developers behind the project on-board as full-time staff at Coinbase.
Developer Sašo Matejina and designer Samo Drole will be joining the Coinbase team. The pair recently moved from Slovenia to join the staff of 40 full-time employees San Francisco. Saso and Samo will be focused on continuing to make the Coinbase API even more powerful for developers who want to build on top of bitcoin. They’ll also work on building out Coinbase’s own bitcoin node.
Blockr.io will continue to operate as usual for now as Sašo and Samo transition to their work at Coinbase.
Sašo is a co-founder of Blockr.io blockchain explorer. Before joining Coinbase, he worked on automated functional and regression testing for banking software and developed news publishing platforms for Slovenian media. He is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and enjoys building products that makes your life easier.
Samo is digital coin enthusiast, who founded Blockr.io blockchain explorer and worked as a freelance designer prior joining Coinbase. He is passionate about biking and cartoons.
Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation have been toying around with the idea of accepting Bitcoin for donations for the past several months.
It seemed like they were unsure with how to move forward and Jimmy Wales even stated that they were unsure for several months but it now appears today that we finally have an answer to the question if Wikipedia would start accepting Bitcoin.
That answer is yes as they announced on the Wikimedia Foundation blog today stating:
We’re fortunate that millions of people all over the world support the work of the Wikimedia Foundation through donations. It has always been important to the Foundation to make sure donating is as simple and inclusive as possible. Currently, we accept 13 different payment methods enabling donations from nearly every country in the world, and today, we’re adding one more: Bitcoin.
For those unfamiliar with Bitcoin, it’s a relatively new virtual currency, currently being accepted by a growing number of institutions and merchants throughout the world. Members of our community have asked the Foundation to start accepting Bitcoin. These requests, coupled with recent guidance from the IRS, encouraged the Foundation to once again review our capacity to accept Bitcoin.
During this review, we identified a new way to work around past technical challenges, as well as to minimize the legal risks of accepting Bitcoin. Using Coinbase, a Bitcoin exchange, we’re able to immediately convert Bitcoin to U.S. dollars, requiring minimal technical implementation on our end. Since we now also have guidance on how to account for Bitcoin, there is a clear understanding of how to legally manage it.
The Wikimedia Foundation selected Coinbase for processing of donations to the foundation and the donate page has been updated to have the new donate with Bitcoin button as an option. You can find the updated donation page at: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Ways_to_Give#bitcoin
Earlier this week, ZATAZ, the rather reputable french internet magazine focusing on information security reported that Coinbase had been hacked.
The site claimed that the hacker was providing various usernames and passwords for Coinbase and that they had confirmed the compromised accounts by way of logging in using various user credentials and seeing that they were in fact compromised.
The magazine contacted Coinbase regarding the hack and the company launched an internal investigation to determine the source of the hacking if one existed and began the work of disabling the accounts from the list that was provided by the hacker.
The hacker was charging .7 BTC for access to the list and of course the standard fears began on reddit regarding the hacking.
hangletonweblogs reached out to Coinbase for further information as per our policy and anxiously awaited a response. Had Coinbase actually been hacked or was something else such as a simple phishing attempt at play here.
Coinbase contacted us later that afternoon with the following statement:
Wanted to follow up with some quick background in response to your question – this isn’t a result of any direct attack on the Coinbase systems, but rather the result of various phishing or malware attacks. Coinbase has taken all necessary steps to protect users from these types of attacks and are closely monitoring for further activity.
To help ensure user security, Coinbase recommends they use a modern browser like Chrome, keep software and operating systems up to date, and take the proper precautions when installing software on the internet.
It now appears that this like many other claims of a Coinbase hacking was simply the results of a phishing attack against the users on the list. None of the accounts contained on the list were using two factor authentication.
As of Sunday, July 27th the magazine has not yet updated the story to reflect that this was a phishing attack and that Coinbase is still verified as being safe by the company.
This story should serve as a reminder to always use two-factor authentication with your account and if you see something regarding the hacking of something to treat it with a certain level of doubt until an official response comes out.
At the time of this news the current Winkdex price was $589.12 (-0.74%).
On Wednesday, August 13th at the New York City Bar Association in Midtown Manhattan, former Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Assistant Director Thomas Fleming will address the second annual Virtual Currencies Compliance Conference (VC3), hosted by the National Money Transmitters Association.
Tom Fleming has over 46 years experience in both the financial services industry and Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) compliance. Most recently he was the Assistant Director for the Office of Compliance at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) responsible for ensuring industry compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act through active partnerships with regulatory and law enforcement agencies as well as financial institution trade associations. Mr. Fleming is a founding member of Tom Fleming & Associates, LLC, consultants specializing in Bank Secrecy Act / Anti-Money Laundering Compliance.
Tom will be joined by other speakers such as, Wendy Kamenshine – the CFPB Ombudsman, Jorge Guerrero – the founder and first Executive Director of the NMTA, Martine Niejadlik – the Chief Compliance Officer at Coinbase and many more.
More information and tickets for the event can be found at: http://www.nmta.us/virtual-currencies-compliance-conference-2014
Today tinypass is rolling out the ability for all tinypass publishers to begin accepting Bitcoin if they wish.
tinypass currently provides service for Esquire, Cosmo, Penny Arcade, and a liteany of other publishers of all sizes to monetize content. For the last year many in the Bitcoin community have been lobbying tinypass to add Bitcoin as a payment option for the companies they provide services.
This morning Coinbase and tinypass announced that they’ve done just that.
This is great for bitcoin because it is perfectly suited for the sort of microtransactions that tinypass specalizes in. Using bitcoin alows consumers a convenient new payment option and allows micropayments to be cheaper for tinypass.
While it is unclear which publishers will be enabling payments via bitcoin we expect to see several publications using it in the immediate future.
Nearly two weeks ago hangletonweblogs exclusively reported that 1-800-Flowers would be launching the ability to pay with Bitcoin.
Today, 1-800-Flowers and Coinbase have announced that they are officially accepting Bitcoin.
Beginning this fall, bitcoin will join familiar payment options, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal, that are available to the company’s customers across its extensive family of gifting sites, including 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, FannieMay.com, Cheryls.com, ThePopcornFactory.com, 1-800-Baskets.com, FruitBouquets.com, and Stockyards.com.
“As a customer centric company, we are always looking for new ways to engage with our customers and enhance their shopping experience for all of their celebratory occasions,” said Jim McCann, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM CEO and Founder. “Bitcoin, together with our other payment options, offers our customers another highly convenient way to help them deliver smiles to the important people in their lives.”
1-800-FLOWERS.COM has selected leading bitcoin platform Coinbase to process its bitcoin payments. “We are excited to partner with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM,” said Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase. “Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular method to make ecommerce purchases and we’re glad to be helping 1-800-FLOWERS.COM customers make these purchases in an easy and secure way.”
They are now joining CheapFlowers.com a company that is part of the Teleflora network and operated by Impulse Communications, Inc. in acceptance of Bitcoin on the Internet for flowers and other gifts. Other large floral companies accepting bitcoins include BloomNation and some teleflora agents.
Developers, entrepreneurs and more who are selling software and other virtual goods via the Internet and payment platform Digital River now have another option for customers to use while paying.
The Minneapolis based company today announced that they have begun accepting Bitcoin as a payment option.
Bitcoin will now be available along with other international payment options, such as credit and debit cards, wire transfers, bank transfers and third-party wallets.
“Bitcoin continues to attract more mainstream attention,” said Tom Peterson, executive vice president and general manager of commerce at Digital River. “We’re excited to be among the first pure play ecommerce providers to make the cryptocurrency available for small to mid-sized businesses interested in providing their online shoppers more payment choices and added convenience.
“Because Digital River acts as the merchant- and seller-of-record, our international base of customers can accept and process bitcoin payments in their U.S. online stores with less risk than they could on their own,” added Peterson. “In addition, this business model creates an opportunity for our customers to offer payment solutions that may be in earlier stages of adoption in their domestic markets.”
Digital River partnered with San Francisco-based Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and platform provider, to handle the conversion of bitcoin into U.S. dollars and process the payments. “The payments world is energized by talks of digital currencies,” said Souheil Badran, Digital River World Payments’ senior vice president and general manager. “One of the bigger risks faced by merchants is dealing with the volatility of the digital currency market. Partnering with Coinbase allows Digital River to help mitigate that risk for our customers.”
“With Digital River’s expertise in the global commerce and payments industry, we’re proud to support the extension of their payment options for small to mid-sized businesses,” said Adam White, director of business development and sales at Coinbase. “This partnership is another positive step forward in bringing bitcoin payments to the everyday consumer.”
Interestingly enough Digital River was the first payments platform I ever used on the Internet many years back so to see them still not only chugging along but doing something so forward thinking is awesome!